View Full Version : Sudden ends breakage, HELP!

November 10th, 2015, 10:12 PM
Today while detangling gently in small sections, carefully taking apart tangles, I noticed in the center of several tangles were broken ends 1-3" in length, and when I'd remove a strand from the tangle, an end would occasionally come off.

I've never had breakage problems before. I'm very gentle with my hair. I don't use brushes or heat, and finger detangle a few times a week, always with oil or slathered with conditioner in the shower. I CWCC my hair once a week, and clarify with a chelating shampoo usually biweekly (sometimes weekly if my hair gets that weird "velcro" feel) as we have hard water. My diet is pretty healthy with sufficient protein.

I have very minimal splits which I trim out with S&D. The ends breaking off did not appear damaged. No white spots or anything more than a baby split on one or two.

The main potential culprit I can see mechanical-wise would be that I sleep with my hair down over night. I cannot braid or bun as I move around so much I get canopy breakage even with very loose braids, and I'd rather lose an inch or so off the ends than the majority of the strand. :/

I won't be wearing braids down in the near future and will be sticking mainly to updos. I'm also open to using something with cones. I'll sacrifice my wave pattern for a bit if it means retaining length with less tangles from the added slip.

The only thing is my ends do seem a bit dry. I'd like to start using a good daily serum or such. Cones or no cones. I'd love your recommendations.

I think I've covered all the questions folk usually ask. Is this just because my hair is getting longer/older? I do have thyroid issues, but that would usually manifest itself in hair loss/reduced growth, not at the ends, right?
Any tips or ideas appreciated. I only have 6 more inches to reach my goal length, I don't want to not get there when I'm sooo close.

November 11th, 2015, 04:05 AM
I had breakage a while ago, and started doing my oil rinses again (link in my signature as to how to, do read the entire thread). It helped, it's been 2/3 weeks and I am breakage-free again. This is just what worked for me, and I do my oil rinses with a tiny few drops (10) of MO.

November 11th, 2015, 01:21 PM
My hair does enjoy oiling, but my tired ends enjoy humectant love, much more. Their absolute favorite is when I whip honey into my (cone-free) conditioner. If I *only* oil, they get rather sad. But if I lay some sugar on them, they're much happier. ;)

(I'm now singing Pour Some Sugar On Me...)

November 11th, 2015, 02:13 PM
You say you wouldn't be averse to introducing cones? That's great, because cones can really help by giving that great slip and protective film to hair, and since you clarify frequently, you probably wouldn't need to worry about build-up.
I'd use cones in both rinse-out conditioners and leave-in conditioners and serums.

Another thing to consider: could it be that weekly or bi-weekly clarifying & chelating is too frequent or maybe the product is too harsh? Generally, I'd always recommend starting by clarifying and doing a deep moisturizing treatment (maybe an SMT + oils) to see how the hair feels, but some clarifying & chelating products are less harsh than others so can be used more frequently. I would imagine that "color-safe" clarifying products are safer than others. Alternatively, rotating gentler products with harsher ones, as well as diluting shampoo in water before application might work.
If oils and humectants are not enough, you might want to experiment with proteins, too. A DIY gelatin treatment or products with proteins of smaller molecular size (hydrolyzed silk, keratin, soy, etc) are a good starting point. More on this here (http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2015/10/protein-101-lots-of-basic-information.html) and here (http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2011/08/mysteries-of-hydrolyzed-proteins.html).

Also, since you say you have to sleep with loose hair, I'd recommend using a silky smooth pillowcase or lining your pillow with silk/satin or lining the whole area between the pillow and the groove next to headboard with a silky scarf and placing your length in that groove covered in silk. If you are not a restless sleeper, this should be enough protection for hair. ;)

Kudos on your plans to start wearing buns more often! This will really help prevent damage! :thumbsup:

Also, check your detangling tools for seams, just in case. :) Any rake/comb/brush you use could be adding to damage, so make sure the tines/bristles aren't too dense and are completely smooth.

Best of luck! :D I really hope the breakage will stop soon! :flower:

November 11th, 2015, 04:37 PM
My hair does enjoy oiling, but my tired ends enjoy humectant love, much more. Their absolute favorite is when I whip honey into my (cone-free) conditioner. If I *only* oil, they get rather sad. But if I lay some sugar on them, they're much happier. ;)

(I'm now singing Pour Some Sugar On Me...)

:) This is how my ends typically are, too.

Arete, what do your ends feel like, if say you pinch the last few inches of a thin strand and run your fingers down it? Is it smooth? Rough? Squeaky-sticky? Stiff and wirey? Flexible? I'm going to kinda guess at this since your hair's course and mine is fine, but it's usually those changes in texture that clue me in to what my hair needs. When in doubt, though, I tend to mix up some condish and honey, put it in a baggy, plunk my ends in it, and wear that around for an hour or so.

November 11th, 2015, 04:51 PM
Meteor: I clarify as needed, which usually ends up bi-weekly. Sometimes monthly. I will look into color safe clarifying shampoos. That's a good idea. I'm hesitant to try any protein treatments, as anytime I've used protein in conditioners, even if it wasn't much my hair HATED it. It ended up feeling all dry and wirey and awful.

Anje: My ends feel a touch stuff stiffer than normal. They don't have the velcro feel of needing clarifying (I clarified last week).

Here's the plan:
1) Clarify and do an SMT.
2) Get a silicone serum and leave in
3) More updos. I usually wear my hair up three days a week. Increasing that to most every day, and no braids with ends exposed.

IN the mean time, I found a silcone leave-in by Aveeno that I put on my ends. they feel a little better, more slippy and a bit softer. That should keep them happy until I can SMT later tonight.

Thanks for the ideas ladies. :flowers:

November 11th, 2015, 06:53 PM
:) This is how my ends typically are, too.

:hifive: It was a real surprise to me, when I actually observed it, because I just always assumed oil = perfect. :shrug:

November 11th, 2015, 07:39 PM
sometimes if my hair becomes coated or over conditioned it can get suddenly breaky like this. Or when it needs protein via a protein treatment/conditioner on the ends. Usually the protein conditioner hakes it all better.

November 11th, 2015, 08:48 PM
So I SMTed, and then when mostly dry, added a bit of a silicone/oil serum. My ends feel soooooooo much better . Maybe they just need some serious moisture love. The best part is, the serum isn't pulling out my wave pattern! :joy: I'll use it for awhile for the added slip and see how my hair likes it.

November 12th, 2015, 11:47 AM
^ That's great news! Congrats, Arete! :applause

Silicone/oil serums ftw! :rockerdud

November 12th, 2015, 01:18 PM
Hey, I'm glad it worked! And yes, my moisture-loving hair definitely gets stiff when it needs more moisture. It's got a sweet tooth?